RESIDENTS of Cirencester will be able to hear about the district council’s proposals to expand the capacity of the Waterloo car park at a public consultation at the Bingham Gallery next Tuesday.

The event, to take place in the Gallery in Bingham House on Dyer Street, was previously slated to be taking place in Bingham Hall, though this has since been altered by Cotswold District Council.

Members of the public will get the chance to meet council officials and review information boards which will illustrate why consultants feel multi-storey parking at the Waterloo is the best option.  

Former mayor, Cllr Mark Harris, chair of the Cirencester Parking Project, said: “It is important that we demonstrate why our consultants recommended that the Waterloo is the best option for a decked car park in the town.

“This proposal will require planning permission and the public will have a chance to comment.

“But it makes sense to consult now at a very early stage so that we can explain our rationale and gather views from the public which can then influence the design stage. 

“Whilst we know there is a lot of support for more parking in the town, we understand that some people may have some concerns about the proposal and this drop-in session should enable everyone to have their say – and for us to gain a true understanding of what these concerns are so we can try and address them.”

Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, CDC cabinet member with oversight of Cirencester parking issues, said: “We have assembled some information panels which address many of the queries about this issue which have arisen so far, and we can also explain how we looked at other options and the reasons why we opted for the Waterloo as our first priority. 

“We will also be on-hand to respond to any other questions on the day,” he added.

Plans for the multi-storey have previously been criticised by resident Penny Smith, whose Dyer Street flat, which she shares with her husband overlooks the site.

“For 16 years we have looked out on the pretty flowering trees that fill this discrete little car park, and also the mature trees beyond,” said Penny.

“It is a perfect link from the town centre through to the beautiful space in the Abbey Grounds. To look out on a multi-storey car park bears no comparison.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Penny Smith in The Waterloo car park in February

The existing car park is surrounded by homes on all four sides – The Waterloo flats, the houses in Corinium Gate, the cottage and bungalow to the east, and the new apartments alongside the Argos car park.

Some of these are sheltered houses for the elderly.

“It is not an exaggeration to say the effect on them will be catastrophic, life changing for the worse,” Penny told the Standard.

She said she could not understand why other previously considered sites, which included the Forum, Old Station and Sheep Street car parks, were not selected by the board over The Waterloo, as “none of the other sites has residential accommodation that is so close or likely to be so dramatically affected.”

See for more information about the project.